Elf, Frost (3.5e Race)
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Also known as nifnalves or nifalfkyn, the vicious frost elves hail from frozen tundras. They thrive in blizzards and patrol lands that would kill other races in hours from the exposure to the cold.
Frost elves are cruel and savage. They despise the warmth of other races. Cozying up around a fire with others to tell stories sickens them. A snarl crosses their lips at the mention of such activities. Out of survival necessity, they're often direct and confrontational. Most frost elves aren't particularly vocal in social settings, often giving an air of distance rather than typical elven aloofness.
Because of their cold environment and dislike of fire, frost elves prefer to eat raw meat, often cut into thin strips and dried in the chill winds. They've been known to consume humanoids and even other elves for food. Only the royal family generally has the audacity to consume other frost elves and does so as a show of power.
Motionless in the gail wind, winter pelts draped about them for camouflage, they wait in the frigid wastes, preying upon the dire beasts and arctic horrors that lurk in the deep washes of snow. Frost elves grow to a height of around five feet tall. They stand lean and trim like a frozen corpse. Their complexion is pale with a tinge of blue on the tips of their extremities. Often squinting in the bright sunlight of the snowy plains, the irises of their eyes are a chilly pale blue or white. Their hair, often tied back when on a hunt, opalescently glimmers with blues and purples. Only other frost elves with their keen sight and pickiness, ever care to make a distinction on their hair color other than white.
They scorn other elves more than other humanoid races, though no other race is welcomed peaceably. Traders, ambassadors and adventurers are almost always met with hostility by frost elves. If they are allowed to coordinate, frost elves generally target leaders first, attempting to incapacitate intruders for questioning. Occasionally, frost elves will cripple their quarry's means of transportation to strand them and let the elements wear them down.
Frost giants don't get along well with frost elves, but occasionally, during times of a common enemy, the two form temporary and shaky alliances. When the two races war against each other, frost elves use their smaller size as an advantage to sneak through tunnels and hide.
Fey creatures stay clear of frost elves, who are often armed with cold iron weapons and tools. Some fey are known to roam frost elf territorial borders warning travelers in the hope that such weapons remain within that territory.
Frost elves that are found wandering away from their lands are often greeted with suspicion, fear and hostility. It is not unknown for frost elves to flee their homeland in search of asylum (often with the intent on returning later to exact revenge).
Rarely caring for the feelings, rights and personal safety of others, frost elves tend to be Neutral Evil, doing what they please as long as they think they can get away with it. Frost elf wanderers tend to be a bit chaotic while their royals tend toward lawfulness.
The frost elves claim large swaths of territory in remote, frozen wastelands and high mountain peaks. The vast potential of earthen resources, such as gems and metals, often goes untapped in their territory. This occasionally leads to border intrusions by other races looking for resources to exploit. Incursions usually happen in the warmer months of summer on border lands and don't go contested until autumn or winter. Whole settlements that have hunkered down for winter have been shredded apart by frost elves re-establishing territorial borders.
Frost elves do not have many possessions, as living in such foreboding lands affords them few resources. Their possessions are often very old, handed down for generations and kept in prime order. Because of their dislike of warmth, frost elves primarily forge cold iron as it doesn't need the heat necessary when working with ordinary steel. What items they do make are of exceptional craftsmanship and enduring quality. Whatever else they happen to own is typically gained by looting the bodies of slain foes.
Frost elf homes are often built out of stone blocks with natural stones piled around the outsides to gather ice and snow. This design allows small settlements to blend in to the natural environment and avoid drawing attention. Larger cities are almost always fortified garrisons with sheer icy walls and spike-filled gorges in place of moats. Their royal castles are often jagged palaces made of stone and ice. It is not unknown for royal palaces to be built into ancient glacial caves. Most entryways are built to their size to inhibit would-be invaders such as giants.
Trespassers in frost elf lands are almost always attacked on sight, and those who surrender are questioned and imprisoned, where they often die of mistreatment within a short time. Frost elves strip the corpses of those they kill, leaving their bodies out as both a warning and bait for scavenging beasts. Bone pile markers in the snow serve as border markers for their territory and are often found near landmarks and natural lines of division, such as frozen rivers, rocky outcrops and glacial crevasses. Frost elves also maintain large, rune-carved cairn stones to mark territory. These stones often have several languages written onto them and typically hold a message of "Frost elf territory. Stay out." or other such warning.
Frost elf culture is maintained and unified by ruling families of inbred royalty. The royal family of a territory presides over their country and enforces their strict borders and laws. All young frost elves, once they come of age, are obligated by law to pledge themselves into servitude to the royal family. The royals choose what duty the young frost elf is to fulfill and when that duty is released. Typically, a few years to a decade of service is common wherein the servant serves as an apprentice or guard within the palace, gaining necessary training. This servitude also ingrains a fear of the royal family, allowing for continued peace through oppression.
Due to their isolated populations and a hatred of outsiders, inbreeding is fairly common practice. Royal families are often highly inbred to maintain power amongst as few individuals as possible. This also aids in limiting possible usurpers from among their ranks.
Religion is often more important to the royals than it is of their common folk. Controlling worship within their cities allows the royals to control divine power and maintain their hold over their citizenry. They most often revere deities of cold, earth, travel and those with a common disposition (generally Evil). Small shrines to such deities are often found in frost elf homes, adorned with small offerings.
Frost elves speak the Nifalfkyn dialect of Elven. They often learn the tongues of their enemies, which encompasses any other race that lives nearby to their homes and enters their lands.
Frost elves often have only a single name. This name serves to identify important lineages as well as auspicious connections. Traditionally, Nifalfkyn Elven dialectical morphemes compose a frost elf's name, with some part of that name lending meaning toward an individual's ancestry. These morphemes are often gender-specific. Female names and male names possess different spelling and pronunciation but might produce the same meaning. Male and female fraternal twins are often given names with the same meaning.
The ordering of these morphemes holds no hard rule, though usually all modifiers (verbs and adjectives) precede a subject. Below are some rough translations in Common of the most frequent morphemes. In the cases of multiple meanings, the first listed is the more common or accepted version.
Table: Frost Elf Morpheme Translation
|Parenthetical letters are optional.|
- +2 Dexterity, −2 Charisma: A frost elf is nimble, but lacks inner reflection and social grace.
- Humanoid (Elf, Cold)
- Medium: As Medium-sized creatures, frost elves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Frost elf base land speed is 30 feet (6 squares).
- Immunity to magic sleep effects.
- Immunity to Cold (Ex): A frost elf suffers no harm from cold damage.
- Vulnerability to Fire (Ex): A frost elf takes half again as much (+50%) damage as normal from fire, regardless of whether a saving throw is allowed, or if the save is a success or failure. A frost elf always takes a –4 penalty to saves against hot weather as if wearing heavy clothing and suffers double the amount of non-lethal damage.
- Low-Light Vision (Ex): A frost elf can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
- Bright-Light Vision (Su): A frost elf is immune to dazzling and magical blindness.
- Weapon Proficiency: Frost elves are proficient with all simple weapons.
- +2 racial bonus on Listen, Search and Spot checks. These skills are class skills for all his classes. A frost elf may "take 10" with these skills as swift actions.
- Winterized (Ex): A frost elf moves through snow, heavy snow and on ice without penalty to movement. He takes only half the penalty on checks from wind and precipitation.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Elven.
- Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Dwarven, Giant, Infernal, Orc, Undercommon.
- Favored Class: Ranger
- Level Adjustment: +0
- Effective Character Level: 1
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|175 years||250 years||360 years||+ 4d% years|
|Sex||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||4' 5"||+2d6||90 lbs.||×(1d6) lbs.|
|Female||4' 5"||+2d6||85 lbs.||×(1d6) lbs.|
|Author||Ganteka Future +|
|Effective Character Level||1 +|
|Favored Class||Ranger +|
|Identifier||3.5e Race +|
|Level Adjustment||0 +|
|Racial Ability Adjustments||+2 Dexterity + and −2 Charisma +|
|Subtype||Elf + and Cold +|
|Summary||Also known as nifnalves or nifalfkyn, the vicious frost elves hail from frozen tundras. +|
|Title||Elf, Frost +|